Balloons, cupcakes and storytelling marked the festivities as Multnomah County honored its most outstanding volunteers at the Volunteer Awards Ceremony hosted by the Citizen Involvement Committee on Tuesday, April 30th. More than 120 people listened as volunteers had descriptions of their work read aloud prior to receiving their awards. Last fiscal year, volunteers contributed more than 190,000 volunteer hours with an estimated value of $3,768,636 to county programs and projects!
During the ceremony, 12 departments and county-affiliated programs recognized the extraordinary achievements of 56 volunteers. Their achievements ranged from advising on committees, walking dogs at 6am at the animal shelter, assisting victims of violence with the District Attorney’s Office, taking books to homebound citizens, tutoring ex-offenders and Measure 11 youth, fostering grandparents at the Peninsula Park Community Center, and being personal advocates for the elderly.
Additionally, the CIC presented the Gladys McCoy Award, the Multnomah County Commission on Children, Families and Community presented the Hilltops Awards, and the Multnomah Youth Commission presented its Beegle Award. Meet the volunteers by looking at the ceremony program (bottom of the page) which contains short descriptions of the extraordinary work provided by all the award recipients.
Gladys McCoy Award:
A central part of the annual event is the presentation of the Gladys McCoy Award, presented to a person who has exemplified the life of late county chair Gladys McCoy, an advocate for human and civil rights, children and families, the environment and education. This year’s winner is Phillip Margolin, who co-founded Chess for Success (CFS) in Portland in 1992. CFS has created chess programs serving 2,900 students annually in 71 low-income elementary schools in Oregon and Washington. By playing chess, these at risk students learn high level critical thinking, problem-solving skills and self-confidence essential for success in school and in life.
Along with his work as a chess coach and with CFS, Mr. Margolin serves on the Board of Literary Arts which sponsors the Writers for the Schools program in area high schools. He also has been a court-appointed attorney for a dozen people facing the death penalty in Oregon and pioneered the use of the battered woman’s syndrome in murder cases of abusive spouses. Additionally, he has established several ongoing scholarships for single mothers attending Portland Community College in honor of his wife who died of cancer. To all his volunteer service, Mr. Margolin brings passion, tireless advocacy and a commitment to justice.
The 2013 Hilltop Awards were presented by Multnomah County’s Commission on Children, Families & Community (CCFC). The Hilltop (Heroes Inspiring Leadership, Learning, Teamwork, Opportunity and Pride) Awards were created in 2006 to honor individual and organizational efforts to address poverty in Multnomah County. This year’s Hilltop Award winners include Wendi Anderson, Linda Ridings and Oregon Speaker of the House Tina Kotek.
Jennifer Beegle Award:
The Beegle Award was established by the Multnomah Youth Commission in honor of Jennifer Beegle to highlight the positive impact youth volunteers have on their communities. Deedee Hartley is receiving this year’s award in recognition of her dedicated advocacy of policies helping youth in the foster care system, including extending healthcare coverage for youth in foster care from age 18 to 21 and enabling them to attend state colleges for free through the Oregon tuition waiver.